Will this save Santa Ana’s heritage?

There is a draft resolution emanating from all the councilors of the 6th district of Manila headed by Councilor Numero G. Lim, fondly called Numero Uno by his friends and constituents. Whether local or national, legislation always bears titles that are kilometrically lengthy and read more like colophons of another era. Here is the title … Read more

Farewell, Santa Ana

As painful as the truth. Manila is right now losing yet another cultural heritage treasure. There are people, among them local government officials, determined to make our capital a maze of high rises with no distinguishing aesthetic features; they want Manila to look like New York, I was informed. Very soon, it might not be … Read more

Nostalgic September

When I turned five, my mother threw a party. It was a barrio fiesta in the heart of Pasay where we settled after World War II. She was a young widow (juggling two babies, she used to say) living in her father’s house and writing for a newspaper on Soler Street in downtown Manila. I … Read more

Rizal’s ‘German Spring’

“Enigmatic objects: Notes towards a history of the museum in the Philippines,” Dr. Resil Mojares’ monumental opus should not (and cannot) be read in one sitting. I am still very attentively mining its 500 pages, rereading chapters for nuggets of wisdom I may have missed at first glance. Even those who were never dragged to a … Read more

Enigmatic objects of Dr. Mojares

Dr. Resil Mojares’ latest book – Enigmatic Objects: Notes towards a History of the Museum in the Philippines – is a fountainhead of knowledge. I dare say, this historian par excellence truly deserves the National Artist Award for Literature. I have begun to read this 500-page book and here are a few things to share: … Read more

Who kidnapped the Santo Niño?

Many years ago, I hosted “Krus na daan” (Crossroads), a daily radio program for DZRJ; Wednesdays were dedicated to Philippine history and Dr. Jaime Veneracion, an eminent Filipino historian from Bulacan was the regular guest. Every January, with the Sinulog Festival in mind, we talked about the Santo Niño of Cebu and listeners would call … Read more

Our Lady of Antipolo’s untold story

She grew up in Argentina and has traveled extensively in Spain and Latin America where there are statues and images of the Blessed Mother, Jesus Christ and the saints, not only in churches and homes but also in secular spaces. No wonder Prof. Cristina H. Lee, Phd,  had “simultaneous feelings of eerie familiarity and strangeness” … Read more

SONA, in the flesh

There were two SONAs (State of the Nation Address) which I was fortunate enough to witness in the flesh, in the August session hall of the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. I was then the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, appointed by Pres. Joseph E. Estrada. The SONA is a solemn, ceremonious annual event … Read more

Can the USA alienate sovereignty?

If the USA should “alienate sovereignty “ it means that the USA is giving up territory incorporated in its body politic, like Puerto Rico, and at one time, the Philippines Islands. Just as the USA acquired and incorporated territory by treaty, purchase or conquest, it could very well alienate sovereignty over the same. No, I … Read more

Should we prepare for war?

We have been waffling on this question– should we prepare for war? I do not mean as a belligerent party because the 1987 Philippine Constitution renounces war as an instrument of national policy and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. (Declaration of Principles and State … Read more